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Healthy Ageing Challenge: Community Champion Update #9

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Annie Lin is our current volunteer Challenge Community Champion. You'll see her popping up across the Healthy Ageing Challenge with handy tips and words of encouragement – and posting community updates here like a true champion!


Working, together (photo by Mozilla Europe, CC-BY-SA).
I've been simply blown away by the community interactions that happened over the past week around the Healthy Ageing Challenge. The level and format in which OpenIDEATORS are helping each other out is even more staggering than anything I expected (and I expected a lot!). I'd like to highlight a few of these incredible interactions below.
  • Drawing on personal experiences with elders. As mentioned in my earlier blog posts (like this most recent one), we highly encourage you to approach actual seniors in your life to share ideas with them and get their feedback, since they will be the actual end users. I've been impressed that not only have original authors of ideas been doing this, but fellow community members have also been contributing insights from their real-life interactions with seniors. There are so many examples of this, but for just a few, see Sine and Jim's comments for the gRENTparents idea, and Colleen and Elif's comments for the elderly/children day care center idea. This all-around focus on the user has really helped make ideas more relevant and more targeted. 
  • Pointing to relevant links and resources. During the Inspiration phase, community members shed light on existing initiatives and stories relating to healthy aging. It's been amazing to see that this mindset of drawing on existing examples did not stop with the end of the formal Inspiration phase. OpenIDEATORS have continued to direct each other's attention to links and resources that provide evidence for speculations, offer case studies, and push ideas forward. For example, see Helder's suggested resources for the Overdelivery idea, Kali's reference to a Pew study in her comment for the social/activity groups idea, and Nick and Matthew's links for the Caregivers' Wellness Toolkit idea.
  • Linking with outside groups that can provide feedback and help with prototyping. As mentioned in earlier blog posts, prototyping an idea — or making a more concrete, tangible model of it — is highly useful to gather targeted feedback and see how people might interact with an idea in practice. I've been blown away by the number of OpenIDEATORS who actively approached outside experts or organizations that might be interested in providing feedback or helping to create a prototype of an idea, and by OpenIDEATORS who connected fellow community members to such organizations. For example, Lynn reached out to an aging and caregiving expert about the Sandwich Game idea, and Annie and Nick worked together on reaching out to caregiving practitioners around the Caregivers' Wellness Toolkit idea. Matt even created an open collaborative Google Doc that has ideas for which outside organizations to contact (as well as outstanding questions to further improve the idea), for his civic landscaping idea
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Community Champions , Healthy Ageing Challenge

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This whole process has been inspiring.